March Madness Cometh!

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Its springtime, and that means one thing.  No, it doesn’t mean time to bust out the white pants.  And it doesn’t mean listening to Jim Nance over emotionalize The Masters.  12 inches of snow just fell in North Dakota, so it can’t be the weather!  March Madness baby!!  The tri-fecta baby!  There are too many moments to remember…  Christian Laettner throwing  up a free-throw line jumper for the win, Bryce Drew hitting a 3 at the buzzer against a shell-shocked Ole Miss.  The list goes on and on.

March Madness takes us away from all of the current “sporting controversies”.  Whether its Clemens, Rodriquez, TO, or Michael Phelps, we’ve all seen our disappointments and let downs in the sports world.  But March Madness is a time when sports fans can band together and be distracted by 64 teams widdled down to 1.  And perhaps the best part of the NCAA Tournament?  NO DICK VITALE!!

To give you a bit of NCAA Tourney history, the NCAA Tournament included 64 teams starting back in 1985, and in 2001, it became 65 teams with an “opening round” game to determine who the 64th team would be.  Before 1975, there was only one team allowed in the tournament per conference.  My how times have changed!  This year, there have been so many changes to the #1 ranking, it’ll be hard to know who will win the national title.  Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh (among many other teams) are all possible teams running for the national title.  So before we being the NCAA Tourney, lets whet our appetites with the top 10 NCAA tournament moments (in no particular order).  Yes, there will surely be some left out, but if this doesn’t make you salivate for the tourney, I don’t know what will.

Indiana vs.  Duke – 2002 Sweet Sixteen

In a Rupp Arena shocker, the Hoosiers pull the upset over the Blue Devils, but not without drama.  The now retired Jay Williams challenged the Hoosiers with his 3 pointer after being fouled.  Fast forward to 4:35 to see the most exciting part!

Kansas vs. Memphis – 2008 NCAA Championship

Down by 9 points with 2:12 to go in the game, Kansas put forth a vicious comeback, cutting the lead to 2, before Mario Chalmers hit the shot heard round the world…

Maryland vs. UNC Wilmington – 2003 1st Round

Drew Nicholas, the man with a plan, hits a huge 3 at the buzzer to defeat the UNC Wilmington Seahawks.

Valpo vs. Ole Miss – 1998 1st Round

Drew who?  Drew Bryce became the big man on campus after hitting a 3 pointer at the buzzer.  This is probably one of the most memorable moments in NCAA tournament history!

Kansas vs. Bucknell – 2005 1st round

A #14 seed defeating a #3 seed?  Who would have thought…  fast forward to 1:55 where the video gets exciting!

Iowa vs. Northwestern St. – 2006 1st round

Yet another #14 seed drops a #3 seed.  A thrilling 3 pointer from the corner for the victory. Fast forward to 1:00

Duke vs. Kentucky – 1992 Final Four

Christian Laettner’s shot of the century against Kentucky – one of the most overplayed highlights in ESPN history.  An oldy but a goody.  Duke wins by 1!

NC State vs. Houston – 1983 National Championship

2 words…Lorenzo Charles.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!  Not the only time that Clyde Drexler finished 2nd!  The most classic NCAA tourney moment of all time.  Fast forward to 2:15

Indiana vs. Syracuse – 1987 National Championship

“The shot” by Keith Smart.  Unbelievable!

Illinois vs. Arizona – 2006 Final Four

In my opinion the greatest comeback EVER by a NCAA tourney team.  With 4:00 to go, and a 15 point lead, a victory seemed almost definite.  But Luther Head, Deron Williams, and Dee Brown had other plans.  Hitting a barrage of 3 pointers in the last 4 minutes, the Fighting Illini take the game to over time and go on to defeat ‘Zona by one point.  Watch the whole video – it is priceless!  Notice the nice Last of the Mohicans theme in the background. Gives me shivers down my spine everytime.

And folks, that is it.  Enjoy the tourney this year, and get ready for some great baskeball.

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